Who should read this?
If you want to clarify your life’s direction, gain momentum toward your goals, and replace the seemingly day to day chaos in your life with a feeling of accomplishment, then this article is for you. If you can master the steps I am about to give you, then you will be well on your way to reducing chaos in your life.
What’s with all this chaos?
As a sufferer of a rare neurological disorder that can be triggered and aggravated by my environment, I hate chaos. But you don’t have to suffer from motor tics, migraines, and social anxiety to hate chaos. You may not be as obsessively compulsively aware of the effects of chaos as I am, but I’m sure you can sense when things start to fall back into the natural state of disorder, and I’m sure it’s not a good feeling for anyone. In our personal lives, it often manifests in our budgets, calendars, and relationships and we feel like a chicken with its head cut off—flailing around wondering where our money, time, and love went. Chaos is the opposite of order, and order is necessary for life.
Where does it come from?
It takes effort and information to reverse the natural flow toward disorder. That’s why, by simple definition, order is a supernatural state—a higher state of being that exceeds the natural state of chaos. Chaos comes from a lack of energy, effort, and information in a system and, in our personal lives, it reveals the lack of even the existence of a system.
How is chaos overcome?
In order to overcome chaos, you first have to understand a few things, then you have to make a very specific, conscious decision.
First, you must understand purpose. You would be surprised (or perhaps you wouldn’t) how many people go to work each day numb and blind to the purpose of, not only the company they work for, but of their own purpose for working there. No wonder people feel so unfulfilled. How do you know when you’ve fulfilled your purpose if you never even bothered to ask yourself what it is? Not everyone needs to know every detail but they need to understand overall purpose in a general way and their specific purpose in an intimate way. Purpose drives out chaos.
Second, you must understand potential. If you do not understand potential, you are in danger of increasing chaos in your life exponentially! Consider it as a nuclear reaction. The power of the atom can either be harnessed and controlled in a power plant—providing electricity for millions through a very orderly transmission system in order for them to order their daily lives with it—or it can be released in a thermonuclear explosion, the chaos of which cannot be recovered from. The same power can either increase order or release chaos. You have potential. You are capable of great things. If you do not make an attempt to understand your potential, you are in danger of exploding all over everyone you love and disrupting the lives of even innocent bystanders with your chaos . . . or, you are in danger of flipping off the switch of your power plant, leaving your potential forever untapped.
And now for the decision . . . you must decide to prioritize purpose over potential. Reversing the natural flow toward chaos takes effort, energy, and information. The decision to prioritize purpose is the switch that turns on the system that works toward order. It is the necessary initial energy that acts as the catalyst for starting the powerful chain reaction and it is what makes the correct information available for containing and directing that power for constructive ends. Without this decision, chaos ensues. It may be a grand, purposeless explosion or it may be a slow dissipation back to the natural state of chaos. The former comes from over emphasis on your potential, because you are capable of great power. But, like a thermonuclear explosion, living up to your potential without regard to your purpose only leads to chaos. The latter comes from apathy over time toward your purpose, which makes living up to your potential seem unfulfilling and so you find yourself slowly drifting back into chaos.
Let’s get practical.
If you want to avoid chaos, you have to gain perspective; you are not the center of the universe. You first must pursue and understand purpose that comes from outside of yourself. Love, friendship, cooperation, and human potential . . . these are all things, by their very nature, that are larger than you.
Step one: The ultimate why - read something, listen to something or talk to someone every day that furthers your journey toward understanding the source of ultimate purpose. Be intellectually honest and be intentional about pursuing what is true.
Step two: It’s not discipline unless you do! - do something every day that disciplines your potential. If you’re a writer, write something from your unique perspective. If you’re a designer, design something that could only come through you. If you’re a builder, build something with your unique flare. This may seem very obvious but are you actually doing it every day?
Step three: The calendar why - start your day, your week, your month, and your year by reviewing your calendar. I’ll admit, I need help on this one. I have someone I trust maintaining my calendar. If you need to do the same, make sure you both learn to ask the “why” question for each item added.
Further up and farther in!
Putting purpose before potential will lead to what is good. Success, order, peace, etc. . . . and it helps you to clarify direction in life, gain momentum toward goals, and replace chaos with accomplishment.
If you make an effort to understand purpose—both in the grand scheme of things and for you personally—if you attempt to understand the power of potential, and if you learn to prioritize your purpose over your potential, you will drive chaos out of your life. Wouldn’t it feel great to have room in your schedule and budget for the important things in life? Even better, wouldn’t it be great to know what the important things are and that you’re fulfilling them?
If you like reading fiction and would like to read something fun and inspiring on the themes above, check out my novel, Emergent Vision: The Babel Resurgence – Book 1.
If you would like some more practical tools for defining your purpose, and living up to your potential, apply for a spot in Building Space, a training program just for you.
If you need direction in your search for ultimate purpose, join us every Tuesday night on our live webcast, The Building Space.